madness returns: deflect (1)

What's an Alice cosplay without her trusty weapons?

The first "weapon" I set out to make is not really a weapon, it's more of a shield if we want to get down to specifics. There aren't many reference images of this item on the web, I basically had to pay extra attention during the game and come up with my own interpretation.

something... like that... image via Alice:Madness Returns wikia

I started with a cheap store-bought umbrella. I think it was $8. You can see how ridiculously long the handle of her umbrella is. My umbrella has a very short handle. First things first--I carefully removed the nylon from the umbrella. You can see that this umbrella is tacked in 3 places, goddamn this was a cheap umbrella.

Now you have the skeleton of the umbrella. And the entire nylon piece is basically a circle, made up of 8 triangles. I measured the width of each piece, which in my case happened to be 13". From the center to the edge, the length of each triangle was 18.5". Easy pattern.

I went with this type of lace pattern since I wanted the repeat to be large enough to be noticeable, and based on the reference images/gameplay it seems like the floral patterns in the lace are pretty big, and are arranged in rows. This was also how I cut the fabric. I wanted the edges to be scalloped (again, based on the ref. images and gameplay), so I positioned my pattern like so.

This lace had a bit of stretch to it, so it's pointless to pin (look at all the open weaves) and the chalk is going to leave too little of an impression. I use weights to keep the stretch lace from shifting, both on the pattern and on the area around the pattern. You can get legitimate fabric weights at the crafts store but I was kind of lazy and just used whatever heavy, small objects I had lying around.

To neatly cut the scallop shape I used a pair of embroidery scissors. I have those expensive Gingher scissors (they were a gift) but from my uber-last-minute cosplay midnight scramble at PAX2011 I learned that facial hair trimming scissors are a cheap and great alternative....

The next thing to do, obviously, is to sew these pieces together. I overlocked the edges using my serger, trying to match the scalloped edges as best as possible. The center of the umbrella didn't have to be finished too cleanly because I was going to sculpt a new tip anyways.

But before I could permanently attach the lace to the skeleton I had to color the frame of the umbrella.

Here's what it looks like so far.

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